The church that you can see from the Grand Place and located just around the corner of the square, is the Saint Vaast church. Just like the other buildings in the area, it was severely destroyed during the first world war and rebuilt a couple of years later. It has a beautiful organ inside.
The biggest building with the pyramid formed roof on the Grand Place is the Town Hall. It's an extraordinary building. It was destroyed during WWI and rebuilt in the same style as the houses around the square.
On the facade, you can read the titles and glories of the city: "The War Cross" and the "Legion d'honneur" given in 1919 for the courage and the resistance of the bethunois during the first world war, as well as "The Coat of Arms of the City".
In the middle of the Grand Place you will see an impressive tower. This is the Belfry. It was a reward given to the Bethunois for being faithful to the french monarchy. It started as a wooden tower built in 1346 and housed a local jail. After a fire, it was rebuilt in sandstone in 1388. Later in the 17th century shops were built around the tower preventing the Belfry of being destroyed during WWI. Nowadays, the shops are gone and it houses the tourist office.
The Belfry is 30 meters high and you can reach the top after ascending 144 steps. There are four floors that you can visit after making reservations through the tourist office. At the top, you can admire the splendid panorama of the Artois hills.
The Grand Place is a very beautiful square in the centre of Bethune. Everything is concentrated around this square: town hall, shops, pubs, restaurants, tourist office ...
During WWI almost the entire square was destroyed. The houses around the square were all rebuilt between 1920 and 1927 in the after-war style: eclectic architecture mixed with neo-regionalism and art deco.
Good karting track for small groups about 20-25 minutes drive from Bethune on an industrial estate on the outskirts of a town called Douvrin.